Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010.07.176 - Cadboro Bay to Willows Beach. And Back as Well.

We headed to Cadboro Bay beach for a quickie today as Paula had some other plans for later in the day. Louise and I geared up...
2010-04-25 Cadboro Bay 004
...while as usual Paula hit the water first.
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Not many pictures today as I forgot my waterproof camera at home, and just had my big camera that I was hauling in and out of my camera bag. And there just wasn't much out to take pictures of as most of the ocean critters seemed to be sleeping in on this cloudy Sunday morning.
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We headed down towards Willows Beach and around Mary Tod Island.
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Our course took us past the expensive mansions of the Uplands district of Oak Bay. Here we discovered the secret of how families were able to afford these multi-million dollar homes. They keep their children locked in cages in their back yards where they perform clandestine anti-gravity experiments on them.
2010-04-25 Cadboro Bay 027 copy

Trip length: 8.89 km
YTD: 48.73
More pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.

2010-04-25 Cadboro Bay

Sunday, April 18, 2010

2010.06.175 - Splish Splash, Camera's Taking a Bath

Louise and I rolled our kayaks down the hill to the Gorge for a paddle with Paula and Marlene....
gorge pano1
...but they were looking like no-shows, so we launched without them and headed towards Portage Inlet.
2010-04-18 The Gorge 003

I was loaded up with camera gear, including a camera mounted high on my rear deck shooting interval shots. I set it to take a picture every ten seconds, and come back home with a few hundred dull pictures and a few interesting ones.
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We saw some cormorants drying their wings in a tree.
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We also watched this swan chasing geese away from his nesting mate. He's not actually doing any chasing in this shot, but this is what he looked like when he was, head lowered like a battering ram.
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These geese were nesting just a few metres away from the swans. For some reason the swan left this couple alone.
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We entered Craigflower Creek. We were facing an ebbing tide, but I was hoping to get up to the tunnel at the end of the creek, thinking that I might get some interesting shots with the deck cam. But it all depended on the water level. Too low, and we would not get around the fallen tree.
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And that was the case. If the water level is high enough, you can sneak around this tree on the right. But no luck today.
So I began paddling backwards and the deck cam hit some branches...
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...and off it came.
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I heard a splash, looked down, and saw my home-made camera mount and my camera slowly sinking into the muddy waters. Before they disappeared out of sight, I reached down and grabbed it...
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...and as I fished it out of the water it took my picture. I'm not sure why the mount failed, but I suspect it was loose and then got caught in a branch and torqued.
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The Pentax Optio W60 -- take's a licking and keeps on clicking (although it would be nice if the batteries lasted longer).

We headed back and found that Paula and Marlene had indeed shown up and had their own paddling adventure.
2010-04-18 The Gorge 028

Trip length: 10.13 km
YTD: 39.84
More pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.
2010-04-18 The Gorge

Saturday, April 10, 2010

2010.05.174 - More Wind

As Louise and I were approaching a period of ten days off work starting with Good Friday, the weather forecast at the time looked rather bleak. Eight days of rain, followed by a day of rain and snow. The only decent day in the forecast was April 11, tomorrow, which unfortunately was no good for us as we had already planned some inside activities for that day. So much for kayaking plans.
The weather didn't quite follow through on this prediction. It did start with the Good Friday wind storm, a once-a-decade kind of storm, but afterwards not every day was a rainy day. Just most of them. The rest were windy. And the snow came one day early. There wasn't much, and it didn't stay long. But it snowed just the same.

Today was looking like another windy day. A gusty 20 knot breeze was coming down from the north east as we met Paula at Cadboro Bay, and so despite the fact the currents were with us, for us wimpy paddlers it was looking like maybe we weren't going to cross over to Chatham Island after all as per our plan.
Cadboro Bay Pano

But even a short paddle would give me a chance to try some new gear -- my new Werner Kalliste 230 paddle...
... and my new Sanyo Xacti HD waterproof camcorder (although in the video below I misspeak and call it a Sony. Nope, it's a Sanyo).

We went along the south side of Ten Mile Point...
...but when we got to Flower Island the wind was getting worse, so we decided to move around to the light at the end of the point. There we could see that Baynes Channel was roiling and rocking. No doubt it would be fun for some kayakers (and we saw some heading out) but we followed the advice of another kayaker we met on the beach while we were gearing up who said, "I want to come home at the end of the day."

So we turned and headed back. A short paddle is better than no paddle.

How'd the new gear work? I like the new paddle a lot. I didn't feel the usual shoulder strain or fatigue out there. This paddle is slightly shorter than my other paddle, a straight shaft Aqua-Bound 240cm and after today I think that it may have been too long for me. The new Werner at 230cm just seemed to allow me to have an easier and more natural rhythm. I did notice that sometimes when I was starting off it would stutter or shudder. I'm not sure what was happening...was the wind shaking the paddle? Or did I have the paddle at too high an angle? I suspect I might be digging it in too steeply when I begin paddling from a stationary position. No big deal, it only happened a couple of times, but I've not felt that with my other paddles.
And the video camera? Another case of so far so good. For close in work and medium shots, it seems to be pretty nice. For longer zooms, well, not sure yet. Needs a little more experimentation. Check out the video below.

Trip length: 5.91 km
YTD: 29.71
More pictures are here.